Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe

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Chinua Achebe is a well known contemporary writer from Africa. In his first novel, Things Fall Apart, deals with the conflict of cultures and the violent changes and values brought upon by the British colonialism of Nigeria. Critics say that Achebe book “Things Fall Apart” was influenced by Yeats’s view of history and time in his poem, “The Second Coming” and his use of Irish Folklore. A.G. Stock commented that Achebe was influenced by Yeats’s use of Irish legends to produce his understanding of the chronological process. Several similarities between the Irish legend and Achebe’s novel were inspired by Yeats’s version of the legend in comparing Yeats’s poem with Achebe’s novel. Achebe’s novel hero, Okonkwo, is built as a parallel to Yeats’s version of the Yeatsian tragic hero.

From the Ulster cycle of Irish folklore, “The Death of Aife’s One Son” was an inspiration that inspired Nigerian novelist. The legend is told about a warrior queen, Aife, whom Cuchulainn, a hero trained by Scathach, defeated within a single combat. Aife agreed to accept Cuchulainn’s baby in exchange for her life. Aife was told to name the child Connla, give the child the ring when the boy’s finger fits it and send him to Ulster before Cuchulainn departed from Aife. After Connla was born, Aife discovered that Cuchulainn had a marriage with another woman. Becoming jealous and outraged with the thought of it, she vowed to get revenge upon Cuchulainn. Aife puts Connla to be trained by Scathach just as his father had, possessing extraordinary strength and ability. When Cuchulainn finished his training he was sent to Ulster and given three commands. Once Connla arrived at the shore of Ulster he had refused to give his name and was challenged to single combats b...

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